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Representative David Bowen Speaks on "Victim Preventative Package"

A week after local republicans pitched a series of anti-crime bills called the \"victim prevention package,” a democratic state lawmaker and community group are teaming up to offer some crime-fighting ideas of their own.

Representative David Bowen says the state can work on preventing crime, particularly in youth.  Other state and local lawmakers joined Bowen at a press conference this morning in response to the victim prevention package. It is a total of 8 bills put together by republicans. They say the bills hold repeat offenders accountable while also improving rehabilitation efforts for offenders.

But, democrats who oppose the bills say the emphasis should be on preventing crime before it happens.

Representative Jonathan Brostoff says the tough on crime that locks them up is why we are in this situation today. Instead, he says investing in preventative community resources will help stop crime.

One program that does that is the Running Rebels. The Running Rebels is a community organization that steps in to provide youth with positive choices.

“A lot in the community have been focusing on the failure of young people instead of looking at the failure of us to really step up and make sure our young people have access to quality lives,” said Bowen.

Dawn Barnett, co-director of Running Rebels, says from 1999-2013 their programs saved tax payers $65 million dollars by keeping youth out of the justice system.  She thinks their model along with other organizations could work in cities could help prevent crimes statewide.

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